Windows 10: Windows saying not activated after motherboard upgrade

  1.    12 May 2017 #1

    Windows saying not activated after motherboard upgrade


    I recently upgraded some PC parts (new motherboard, RAM, processor, video card) and ever since then I have a watermark in the bottom right of my display reading "Activate Windows - Go to Settings to activate Windows."

    I took advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10 back when they were allowing Windows 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10. I don't remember receiving an activation key during this upgrade.

    I've read online that installing a new motherboard can occasionally cause issues with OS activation. How can I reactivate my Windows without having to purchase Windows 10.

    Some things to note:
    • This watermark was not there prior to installing the new motherboard
    • As some places (and a Microsoft Tech Support member) suggested, typing the query "wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey" into CMD just returns with "OA3xOriginalProductKey". The Microsoft Support member seemed confused by this and said there was nothing further she could do.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    12 May 2017 #2

    See here:

    Specifically click on the link for "You recently made a significant hardware change".

    and here:
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    12 May 2017 #3

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    See here:

    Specifically click on the link for "You recently made a significant hardware change".

    and here:
    Thank you! It doesn't seem like I linked my Windows 10 to my Microsoft account. Am I out of luck? Is it even possible to NOT link Windows 10 to your Microsoft account?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    12 May 2017 #4

    You had to be on version 1607 or 1703 (Anniversary Update or Creator's Update) for it to link to your Microsoft Account. If you have the old Windows 8 product key you can use that to activate Windows 10 still. Or call Microsoft and beg them to activate your Windows 10 for you.

    If you were still on Windows 8, then you would be in the same situation - you would need a valid product key to activate it on a new motherboard.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    13 May 2017 #5

    Basically with that kind of upgrade MS is seeing your computer as a new system. I've bricked a motherboard before and windows would not activate. I had to call them to explain what had happened. I told them my activation code and they replaced it over the phone, that was for Win7.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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